Abby Wills shares her tips for choosing yoga books for kids.
When the LA YOGA team started sorting through yoga books for kids, we asked mom, yogini, educator, and Shanti Generation Program Director Abby Wills for some advice on choosing media for kids. She said, “There are dozens of brilliant kids yoga books available. Start by thinking about what your child needs and how they learn. Are you looking for a story with rich illustrations to bring your child into the view of yoga? Does your child respond more readily to photographs or drawings? Is there a particular time of day your child is more open to yoga? Perhaps a book focused on bedtime yoga rituals is a smart place to start. Also, seek out authors with direct experience teaching children. And, of course, be sure to choose books that speak to your child’s developmental stage.”
A Selection of Yoga and Mindfulness Books
by Jill Apperson Manly
Author and yoga teacher Jill Manly is a former international elementary school teacher. Her experiences have inspired her first book. In Nothando’s Journey, readers follow the travels of Nothando and her brother to a festival in Swaziland. Along the way, they learn about the power of love as well as everyday mindfulness techniques. Alyssa Casey’s mixed-media illustrations enhance the book’s dynamic story-telling. The book also includes an easy-to follow movement guide.
Good Night Yoga
A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story
by Mariam Gates
In the wildly popular Good Night Yoga, educator Mariam Gates combines her masters degree in education with 20 years of experience in this gorgeous book. Beautiful illustrations by Sarah Jane Hindler with a simple flow of poses such as Cloud Gathering and Ladybug & Butterfly to offer an evening practice for kids to soothe and relax the body and mind in preparation for restful sleep.
Good Morning Yoga
A Pose-by-Pose Wake Up Story
by Mariam Gates
Author Miriam Gates and illustrator Sarah Jane Hindler created an inspirational wake-up book to allow fans of their work a morning practice. Gates calls it, “an invitation to play, to enjoy, and to celebrate all the moments of the day: the moments where we need to be brave, the moments where we need to be adventurous, and the moments we need to be calm and still.” Suitable for kids to practice on their own, this book is also an invitation for families to explore a morning practice together.
ABCs of Yoga for Kids
by Teresa Anne Power
Best-selling and award-winning LA-based author and educator Teresa Anne Power brings fun into teaching by using the A, B, C’s as a framework for introducing the teachings and techniques of yoga to kids. Perfect for educators and parents, this guide can be utilized repeatedly for maximum impact. In addition to the book, Power and series illustrator Kathleen Rietz also have a series of colorful and beautifully illustrated flash cards, a poster, and a coloring book so kids can be truly hands-on in their pursuit of yoga.
I Am Yoga
by Susan Verde
Harry N Abrams
This collaboration by teacher and author Susan Verde and New York Times bestselling author Peter H Reynolds offers a powerful inspirational book for kids and parents to use together (or kids ages 4-8 to use alone) to reinforce the empowering nature of the yoga practice. They pair evocative illustrations of kids practicing everywhere from atop an ocean wave to the grounds of the Egyptian pyramids with affirmations like “I can sail on the sea. I go with the flow.” and “I can open my heart. I feel love.” In addition, the book includes a kid-friendly guide to 16 poses.
Rachel’s Day in the Garden
A Kids Yoga Spring Colors Book
by Giselle Shardlow
Kids Yoga Stories
Shardlow and illustrator Hazel Quintanilla set up their exploration of practice as Rachel (and her cute puppy) play in the garden. Along the way, they buzz like a bee, crawl like a caterpillar, and flutter like a butterfly. Designed for kids ages three to six, this storybook invites readers to join in Rachel’s movement experiences. The book also includes kids’ yoga poses and a parent-teacher guide to help adults implement practices with kids. Other books in educator Shardlow’s Kids Yoga Stories include Sophia’s Jungle Adventure, Anna and her Rainbow Colored Yoga Mat, Luke’s Beach Day, and Hello, Bali.
Little Yoga: A Toddler’s First Book of Yoga
by Rebecca Whitford
Henry Holt and Co
This book is directly aimed at preschoolers and allows story-time to segue into practice time. The simple text includes illustrations of animals in poses. After all, what toddler doesn’t love seeing animals in poses as inspiration?
Sitting Still Like a Frog
Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and their Parents)
by Eline Snel
Therapist and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction trainer Eline Snel is based in the Netherlands where her programs have been used in numerous primary schools. For people wondering how to introduce mindfulness practices to their kids, this book offers a selection of 11 simple practices designed to address the needs of kids (ages 5-12, but suitable for all ages) including learning how to deal with anxiety, enhancing concentration, and dealing with different emotional states. The book includes an audio CD of guided meditations by Myla Kabat-Zinn.
by Molly Hahn
Andrews McMeel Publishing
This collection of inspirational and whimsical illustrations was not necessarily designed just for kids but we added it to the list since it can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Prolific cartoonist Molly Hahn pairs her drawings with noted quotes about mindfulness and provides a hit of inspiration or an opening to talk about concepts with kids.
Youth Yoga DVDs
Yoga Skills for Youth Peacemakers
by Abby Wills
Designed for youth ages 10-15, this well-produced video includes five half-hour practice sequences along with additional mindful awareness practices, sequences for stress management and self-regulation, interviews, and even narration in Spanish or Japanese.
Partner Yoga for Teens
by Abby Wills
There are times when we all need to be taught to support each other rather than tear each other down. Teaching youth this skill through yoga practice is a powerful means for social change. The ten five-minute sequences on this DVD provide user-friendly practices to implement yoga as a means of building alliances with others.
The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids
by Ruby Roth
Popular author and illustrator Ruby Roth has penned books for kids promoting messages of compassion for animals. Her newest features 60 plant-based kid-friendly recipes that combine easy-to-follow instructions with inviting food photography and fun illustrations.